August 20, 2023

A Shocking Way to Spend a Friday

A Shocking Way to Spend a Friday

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for August 20, 2023

We spent Thursday & Friday of this week at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  I'd been on blood thinners for four weeks so it was time to address my atrial flutter irregular heartbeat by shocking it back into rhythm.

I had a CT scan on my heart and a pulmonary test to gather data on my lungs.  I've never blown so hard in my life.  I wish I could say all my results came back as AOK, but it appears our fears were realized and I do have a congenital heart defect.  It has led to me having something called an aortic root aneurism.  Apparently it can be corrected via open heart surgery where they'll either put a graft over my aorta or replace the valve entirely.  When I discussed it with the nurse who assisted in my cardioversion, he said to me that I'll really want to get that fixed.  He then said to me if it were to rupture it would be excruciatingly painful for a few minutes before I eventually die from internal bleeding.  So I've got that going for me.

On Friday, I had the Cardioversion and I'm very pleased to say it was successful.  They put me to sleep, attached the defibrillator to my chest, yelled "Clear" and then proceeded to run about 1,000 volts of electricity through my body.  Then for good measure they did it again.  Apparently it worked because they said my heart was running about 33% more efficiently than it was before.  I was hoping this would be the only thing I have to do to get better, but it looks like I'll be dealing with heart stuff for awhile.  Luckily I get to go to one of the best hospitals in the world.  It also sounds like they've successfully helped many people before me with similar issues that I'm facing.  We'll just add this to the list of challenges we need to tackle in life and go back to living each day to the fullest.  This ain't my family's first rodeo when it comes to scary medical issues.

After we were released from the hospital, we headed down to Iowa for Miss Sheri's family reunion.  Blue was ecstatic for the chance to go hunting for kitties.  He didn't find any this trip, but it was kind of funny right before I took this picture.  He was running around looking for them when a black cat ran across the yard right behind him.  He never even saw it.  Silly puppy.

The family reunion was in Rock Rapids, Iowa which is a fun town with an awesome park that brings back a lot of fond memories.  It was 97 degrees while we were there so most of our cruising down memory lane was done from the comfort of our air conditioned automobile.

We haven't been down to see Miss Sheri's family for quite some time, so it was great to get to spend the day with them on Saturday.  It was also Sheri's birthday, so it was an extra special celebration.

This was the first family reunion we've been able to attend since before Covid, so we were very pleased with the turn-out.  There was a total of 22 members of the Timmerman family in attendance.  We had a lot of laughs sharing updates on all of our lives since we've last seen each other.  It's so great that we can all get together again.

On Saturday night, we joined Miss Sheri's cousin Mary and her family for a trip to Thunder Road in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  We played games, rode go-karts, and had a quite competitive game of MiniGolf.  Miss Sheri ended up being the big winner of course.  After all it was her birthday....we had to let her win, right?  That's my story and I'm sticking with it!

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